Memorial in St. Luke's
Lieutenant Colonel Colin Vyvyan O’Neill McNabb was the son of Surgeon Rear Admiral Sir Daniel KBE CB and Lady McNabb, and a professional soldier. He was commissioned into the Seaforth Highlanders and commanded 8th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He was killed on Good Friday, 23rd April 1943 during the capture of Longstop Hill in Tunisia. Longstop Hill was the last bastion before Tunis and control of it was the key to the German defence. He was 39 and is buried in the Medjez-El-Bab CWGC War Cemetery. Plot 10.A.20.
The World War Two - North Irish Horse Battle Reports contain the following:
"Early on 23rd April the Brigadier, with Lt Cols Thomas and Dawnay, went forward to make a new plan which was for 8th A&SH followed by 1st Surreys with NIH in support to assault Djebel Ahmera, the western feature of Longstop. At 1330 hours after heavy artillery concentration the assault started. 8th A&SH went up the hill with great dash through heavy machine gun fire. Casualties were heavy, including the Commanding Officer, Lt Col McNabb, the IO, Capt RB Erskine, and the Adjutant, Lt R McLeish, killed. By 1530 hours after going in with the bayonet, the Argylls captured the hill. Meanwhile A Squadron NIH worked round towards Point 196 destroying en route a machine gun which had held up 1st Surreys. One tank of 5 Troop crossed the wadi and contacted 5th Buffs, eventually reaching a spot from which the commander dominated the valley and Point 196, and from where, despite heavy shell fire, he managed to shoot up certain positions indicated by the Buffs."
Lt Col McNabb's memorial is in St Luke's because he married Kitty (Katherine) Formby, Jonathan Formby's daughter. In fact Katherine lived in Formby after his death until she died in 1974. Her grave is at the side of the Formby tombs and included in the sad inscription "beloved son of Katherine and Colin McNabb, died April 1st 1937 - aged 8 days."
If you visit St Luke's do look at Colin McNabb's memorial, pictured above. It forms a window ledge at the front of the church on the right hand side, and is beautifully carved in oak.
Katherine's sister, Mary, married Major General DDC Tulloch who was Orde Wingate's Aide de Camp in the famous Chindits. Major General Tulloch unveiled our Remembrance Board when it was dedicated by the Bishop of Liverpool on 3rd July 1950.
See Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website